Candidate profile: Victoria Clay

Victoria Clay
Victoria Clay

Name: Victoria Clay

Age: 65

Immediate family members: Reginald Clay; Tameshia Smith

Town: East St. Louis

Office seeking: East St. Louis School District 189 Board Member

Occupation: Retired

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: East St. Louis Precinct 19 Committee Woman (2007-current); East St. Louis School District 189 Board Member (2011-current)

Why are you running? Education has proven to be the number one asset in aiding our children in pursuing life, liberty, and their happiness. Therefore I believe it is our responsibility to provide quality education with the best of our abilities.

What is the most important issue facing the East St. Louis School District? How would you approach it? Money has always been a lingering challenge for East St. Louis School District. My goal is to ensure that the school district is a major priority when funds are allocated from any and all financial sources.

Should a school district’s teacher demographics mirror that of its student demographics? Why or why not? The true concern is whether or not the teacher can relate to the students in a professional and inspiring manner. It is very important that children see themselves in their heroes and authority figures. Naturally demographics are common points and should be seriously and deeply considered, but never limited to because the standard is what is best for the child. Not every member of one race was raised under the same conditions as others in that race; but they may be able to give a different insight on what it takes to be a winner in life as a person and as a citizen.

How much emphasis should your school district put on STEM education? STEM education is a powerful tool that allows children to really engage in hands-on development that bridge the gap between creation and providing such services and/or goods to the public. It really allows children to see behind the veil of scientists, inventors, engineers, farmers, and entrepreneurs. This can give our children their best chance to learn beyond the bombardment of mainstream.

In St. Clair County, there will be votes for two sales tax referendums. One would benefit school facility costs, one would benefit public safety. Do you support either or both of the referendums? Why or why not? I am definitely for both issues. Although, I believe one can benefit both. Focusing on our children and giving them safe havens to learn and grow will directly influence public safety. It has been said, “It is easier to build a strong child, than to fix a broken man.”

Why should people vote for you? I have been in the political realm for many years and have learned how to navigate through its ups and downs. You win some; you lose some. But I have always been ready to fight another day. I am always ready to step up and be a major voice for our children.